I remember as if it were yesterday my Mom crying, a soulful wound torn open upon hearing that my Dad’s brother, Charles, died of internal bleeding because years earlier he’d been shot in World War II.
President Woodrow Wilson’s promise that World War I was the war to end all wars didn’t prevent World War II.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in WWII, said, “There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.”
We could therefore erect no finer memorial to our war dead than to rededicate our nation to peace.
Eisenhower, in his farewell address in 1960, told the nation, “We must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.” It is past time for us to reconsider his advice.
Our wars since World War II have been about property – the differences by and between communism, socialism and capitalism. Also about ethnicity – over nationality, color, religion and region.
The nation state now caught in the congressional and executive cross-hairs is Syria.
We insist our wars are honorable because we are fighting for individual freedom but those we would “save” all too often recoil at the definition of “freedom” we seek to impose. Continue reading →
In an article published Wednesday, Times-Mirror reporter Trevor Baratko explores the “wild, wild west” of campaigning in a still emerging online social media environment. Baratko approached my husband and me for this article because we had both been removed multiple times after “liking” Dave LaRock’s campaign page on Facebook. It’s common practice on Facebook to “like” a page for the purpose of monitoring the page’s activity and engaging in dialogue, and as I note in comments at the Times-Mirror, we have at no time been enabled to participate in discussion on that page although LaRock is campaigning to be our representative in the House of Delegates.
It’s an open question how exactly candidates for public office should navigate the new environment in which they find themselves. Many public figures and businesses have discovered that blocking critical comments from their Facebook pages only makes them appear imperious and as if they have something to hide. For an example of a different way to handle criticism (or in this case, open hostility and threats) see how the group Queer at Patrick Henry College dealt with PHC Chancellor Mike Farris’ comments on their Facebook page.
Facebook management isn’t the only area in which Dave LaRock has exhibited an inability to tolerate disagreement or criticism, however. A need for control coupled with entitlement, the sense that he has a special right to operate above the law, seems to be the character trait that most animates him. His 2012 arrest (final disposition still pending) for trespassing and destruction of property has become somewhat well known, prompting a falsehood-riddled “damage control” post (authored under an unaccountable pseudonym on a Republican blog) that LaRock is now distributing as his official statement on the matter. Continue reading →
Samuel C. Means, a Waterford Mill Owner, leader of the Loudoun Rangers
In the past week, I urged that we remove the Confederate Soldier Statue, bearing a rifle in the direction of approaching visitors to the court in Leesburg, because it is an offending symbol of disunion, lawlessness and slavery.
In 2009, a Deputy Clerk at the Court, Jennifer Grant, reportedly told the Post that she “didn’t like [the statue],” but “there were certain things people didn’t talk about.”
Johnny Chambers, on his way to Court this past Tuesday, told WUSA*9 that, “It’s hard to get justice when you got people that live in this area, that run this country, that believe in this system,” pointing at the Confederate Soldier statue.
Leesburg court personnel told me, “We all read what you wrote. We here talk among ourselves and some of us have resented that statue. … You should know you have support in this building.”
The most virulent opposition to removing the statue claims that the statue’s not about slavery, it’s just history.
In his television ad, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli attempts to reinvent himself as a progressive (i.e., he wants viewers to see him as someone who “stands up for the vulnerable,” who prioritizes the prevention of sexual assault, who volunteers at homeless shelters, etc.). This ad is clearly targeting the low-information voter (the very best kind for what the GOP has allowed itself to become), because everyone who knows what Mr. Cuccinelli has actually been up to in his time in public office finds it a hilarious farce.
Among the many gems surfacing about this guy is evidence that he is one of those deep thinkers who can’t quite grasp the concept of civil rights as it applies to people universally – you know, the rights guaranteed to every American under the 14th Amendment regardless of personal characteristics such as their race, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Continue reading →
Confederate soldier statue in front of the historic Leesburg Court House
Take that confederate soldier statue down that stands in front of the historic Leesburg Court House!
It’s a symbol of disunion and slavery. If it’s to stand anywhere, let it be in a museum but not at the front of a court of law on public grounds.
Our forebears could have placed a less offensive symbol in front of the court house in 1908. But they didn’t. They intended to make a statement – an unacceptable statement – and it’s high time we rejected that offensive statement.
Years ago, in the 1980s, there were stocks and whipping posts in front of this same court house.
I made reference at a sentencing in the court house once, how it was “unfortunate” that such dehumanizing and tortuous methods of punishment stood directly in front of a court house when we were considering punishment in a criminal case. Continue reading →
If you’re wondering what happened to the whacky Lyndon LaRouche supporters who promoted Nuclear Fusion in the 1980′s and infiltrated and nearly destroyed the Loudoun Democratic Party, their former spokesperson, Christina N. Huth, is now writing letters of support for Dave LaRock.
Having worked for Dave LaRock’s 1789 Project, Evan Mantel, a recent graduate of Patrick Henry College, says he is now “cynical towards politics.”
I wonder if he’s also now cynical toward our local press. Mantel’s letter to the editor describing his unpleasant experience appeared in the Loudoun Times Mirror on May 2, and was removed on May 5. I’m still waiting to hear an explanation for the removal, but given other recent conduct by the LaRock campaign the application of pressure to the editor seems likely. If that turns out to be true, it’s very disappointing behavior from a candidate for public office.
Luckily, the original letter was saved in Google’s webcache. It reveals a pattern of self-indulgence, abuse, and theft of labor hours. See for yourself: The letter is reproduced here, just in case LaRock’s campaign to represent Virginia’s 33rd District is successful at bullying Google, too. Continue reading →
It is remarkable how often, after the fact, everybody knows what should have been done to avoid the latest national disaster.
You have to wonder if they really thought about the matter at all beforehand.
Consider how many Americans following the Boston Marathon bombing thought Chechens were from Czechoslovakia.
Petr Gandalovič, Ambassador to the United States from the Czech Republic, had to inform the “social media” that “the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.”
What we don’t know, we all need to know so that we can make informed policy decisions.
To make matters worse, our modern political “dialogue” consists principally of public disinformation focused on banal distractions and not what really matters.
We are a culture that poses with equanimity but that incites its citizens against immigrants, racial minorities, welfare mothers, feminists, gays and lesbians.
In the shadow of Earth Day, I’d like to underscore one of those issues that prompts a sadly anorexic dialogue about how we can safely breathe the air and drink the water.
“(And yes, a sexual attraction to the male anus is a disorder.)”
I trust that we can all see the problem.
Usually I try to cultivate compassion for the terminally stupid, but not today. Dehumanization kills people, and there’s been more than enough killing. I hope Natassia is mercilessly ridiculed. I hope the ridicule makes her cry. The only thing that will make a person who would say something this clueless finally pull her head out of her nether regions is for someone who cares about her to firmly grasp her shoulders, look directly into her eyes, and say “Stop. You are embarrassing yourself and everyone else.”
If there is someone out there who knows and cares for this confused woman: Please. For the love of God. Help her.